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The Munich Center of the Learning Sciences (MCLS) aims to advance interdisciplinary research on the conditions, processes, and outcomes of learning. Learning is considered a lifelong activity by which individuals adapt to dynamically changing environments, enabling humans to transfer cultural achievements across generations. Formerly, different academic disciplines tended to investigate aspects of learning in isolation. Yet, highly relevant processes and systemic problems can be addressed adequately only in interdisciplinary collaborations. The MCLS offers excellent research-based education and research training in the field of the learning sciences and is part of a strong international network of learning scientists.
Our collaborative research model links social sciences and humanities with natural sciences involving Psychology, Educational Sciences, Sociology, Economy, Computer Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Biology, Medicine, and Economy as well as the specific subject didactics (e.g. Biological Education, Mathematic Education, etc.). The participating scientists share methodologically an empirical and quantitative orientation ranging from brain imaging and mathematical modeling methods of Cognitive Neuroscience, observation methods of cognition and behavior research, formative and summative evaluation methods, to representative surveys and tests.
The MCLS strives for integrated research training in the Learning Sciences. Its scientists jointly offer three international, research-oriented programs: Two two-year master’s degree programs (Psychology Master’s Program in the Learning Sciences and M.Sc. in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology), and the three-years Doctoral Training Program Learning Sciences.
The programs are taught in highly supportive, state-of-the-art environments within a strong international network of Learning Scientists. Besides these new training programs, the traditional disciplinary oriented Bachelor and Master Programs continue.
The MCLS further aims at improving learning and teaching in educational practice by reducing the time-to-curriculum transfer speed of recent research findings into pertinent study programs (e.g., pre-service and in-service teacher education programs) and by contributing to a state-of-the-art training for university teachers in a broad range of programs. Thus, one key collaboration partner is the Teacher Education Center at LMU, to realise the aim of facilitating and speeding up the transfer of research results from the Learning Sciences to Teacher Education.
The faculty members of the MCLS provide more than 20 existing, excellent laboratory facilities, including fMRI facilities, EEG labs, a media lab for user interface design studies, a virtual lab for behavioral research, and a mobile classroom lab with 35 laptops. The systematic sharing of the various research groups’ lab facilities represents a remarkable advance in synergistic resource use beyond the borders of faculties and institutions.
For the doctoral researchers, LMU Munich makes all necessary efforts to provide suitable office, teaching, and lab space. The workplaces will be equipped with a laptop, keyboard and screen, access to high-speed Internet and a printer.
Orientation support is provided by student tutors at the beginning of the semester for new master students as well as for doctoral researchers. General and academic advising is provided by the coordinator, the programs’ instructors and supervisors. All students are supported by mentors, who are instructors in the study program.
The doctoral candidates and the master students will be supported by a set of well-coordinated, specialised service centers starting with their recruitment through to their placement. For example, the GraduateCenterLMU will support the will support doctoral researchers by offering courses for acquiring and consolidating transferable skills. The DeutschUni Online (DUO) provides language and culture training for international doctoral researchers. The Center for Leadership and People Management will support both faculty and doctoral researchers with training in leadership skills.
The “Unterrichtsmitschau” at LMU supports the recording and online video streaming of courses and lectures. The e-learning facility iTeach provides and hosts the online learning and collaboration platform VDTS.
For the Psychology Master’s Program in the Learning Sciences, the LMU charges a tuition fee of 500 Euros per semester. In addition, it charges a small student union fee (about 40 Euros).
For the Doctoral Training Program in the Learning Sciences there are no tuition fees, only the small student union fee (about 40 Euros).
Munich is, unfortunately, an expensive city to live and study in. Rent and foodstuffs are at the high end of the cost scale, so please plan accordingly.
The German Foreign Office suggests that students plan a minimum sum of 600 Euro per month minimum to cover costs of living. Sometimes this amount is even required of students in advance to obtain a visa.
Since Munich is the most expensive city in Germany, we highly recommend students plan on a higher sum and definitely not less than 600 Euro per month.
Due to initial costs during the first phase of your stay, we advise all students to plan on a sum of at least 1000 Euro for the first month.
These depend on the student's level of luxury:
The Psychology Master’s Program in the Learning Sciences welcomes applications from German and foreign candidates with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Psychology, Education, or related fields with a proof of fluency in English (computer-based TOEFL score of 213, Internet-based score of 80, or IELTS score of 6.0), and a grade point average of “good” or “very good” (“B” = 2.0 or equivalent) from their previous studies. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge in the field of the Learning Sciences (30 ECTS), in statistics (30 ECTS), and scientific skills (20 ECTS).
For the Doctoral Training Program in the Learning Sciences:
We will be happy to welcome new students with the following qualifications:
Further information concerning documents to be submitted, deadlines and the presentation to be held for both programs, please visit: www.en.mcls.lmu.de
Name: Julia Eberle
Country of origin: Germany
Programme: Doctoral Training Program in the Learning Sciences (Dr. phil.)
As one of the first generation of doctoral candidates that have been accepted in this new established program, I am now in the second year of my dissertation. As a dissertation is always a quite individualistic enterprise in its topic and process, I highly appreciate the flexibility of the program. On the one hand it allows me to follow my own research interests, supported by my advisory team; on the other hand the program provides a general frame for my research and a great social environment, so I don’t get lost during the sometimes hard and frustrating phases of a dissertation.
My advisory team consists of two local professors of different disciplines that play an important role for my dissertation: Educational Psychology and General Education. As the program has a lot of contacts with well-known researchers in different disciplines form all over the world, I have an additional international advisor from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a renowned expert in human-computer-interaction and brings in another important perspective. I have regular meetings with them to discuss ideas, the progress of my work and get very helpful feedback. As a student in this program I also got the chance to spend several weeks at my international advisor’s university to work with him very close, which was an amazing experience.
Structuring elements are, e.g. guest lectures, research colloquia and a huge variety of courses that are offered each semester on topics based on our needs. I always have a hard time to choose which courses I want to attend and mostly end up going to all of them; especially the methodology courses on advanced statistical methods are interesting and helpful and can directly be applied to the research projects of the participants. The lecturers are always very concerned to pay attention on our individual interests and needs.
Also the atmosphere among the international doctoral candidates is very welcoming, helpful, and collaborative. All of us are very interested and motivated to do research in the learning sciences and coming from a lot of different disciplines there is much to discuss and to learn from each other – and that is not limited to our research projects.